#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Kyle Lester

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Kyle Lester

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Kyle Lester is a second-year Epi student doing research on HIV prevention and treatment, along with working on the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team with Dr. Jodie Guest. He told us more about his current projects, his experience at Rollins, and some fun facts about himself! 



Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I initially entered the workforce after my freshman year of college and put myself through my undergrad while working full-time. I graduated from Georgia Southern University while working in healthcare for five years.



What are your primary research interests?

My research interests are HIV prevention and treatment. I specifically want to focus on MSM prevention methods and interventions, including PrEP and new injectable, long-term PrEP trials.



How have you been navigating the work (& learn) from home experience during the COVID-19 outbreak?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve been navigating the working from home experience by making sure to establish a work-life balance. I’ve devoted specific days and hours towards my academic life while making sure to schedule in time for my personal life and going off the grid. I find that establishing a schedule has been extremely beneficial to keep up with my mental health and my progress on the right path. I think while there are always exceptions, maintaining a regimen and consistent schedule has proven to be extremely effective in getting me through these bizarre times.



Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

The most exciting project I’m working on right now happens to be the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team at Emory. It’s a team that consists of eight of my classmates and myself, led by Dr. Jodie Guest. We have worked all throughout the summer, and continue to work in providing COVID-19 testing, education, and community outreach to underserved communities in Georgia. We have provided over a thousand COVID-19 tests to members of our community, and continue building strong partnerships with the faces behind all those numbers we see on PowerPoint slides.



What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Emory?

My favorite part about earning my MPH at Emory is the real world experience our professors bring to the classroom. We are so fortunate to have professors that have practiced exactly what they teach and can provide us with relevant, up-to-date information and experience that will shape our education and careers.



What advice do you have for 1st year MPH Students?

My advice for first-year MPH students is simple: relax, take a deep breath, and pursue your passions. Public Health is one of the greatest fields to work in, and whatever your passion is, you need to pursue it, because there will always be people in need of your help. Don’t worry as much about your degree, and focus more on what you are going to do with it once you graduate. The relationships and partnerships you build now are going to impact you greatly in your future.



What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

The newest book I just started is The Ghost Map, which is about the cholera outbreak in Victorian London. It focuses on the 1854 cholera outbreak, which involved the work of John Snow, one of our founders of epidemiology. The book to me is interesting because it involves good old fashioned disease detectives and the origin of modern epidemiology as we know it.



What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

Three fun facts that I want people to know about me would be, I’m going to go to Tokyo for the Summer Olympics next year, I’ve almost been to every state, and I love sour beers!



Thanks again to Kyle for chatting with us this week! Tune in next week for another #WeAreEmoryEPI spotlight!

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